Connecting to Tradition and Jerusalem:
Jerusalem Weekend Experience for Soldiers
Israeli soldiers protect their country, heritage and freedom around the world. Now they have an opportunity to experience the traditions which carried the Jewish people through 2000 years of exile.
The very people who defend and serve the country deserve an inspirational and gratifying weekend, an enlightening and uplifting Shabbat experience in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is this link to their 3500 year old heritage that gives meaning to all their hard work throughout the week.
The Jerusalem Experience has created a unique Old City Shabbat experience with a taste of traditional Shabbat rituals and enveloping community warmth that thousands of soldiers have enjoyed to date. The experience is personal and focuses on fostering connections with Jews from Israel and around the world.
Tours: Soldiers become familiar with the history of the Jewish people and the ancient holy city. They walk the streets and touch the stones where their ancestors walked.
Candle Lighting: On a rooftop overlooking the Temple Mount, the soldiers meet Jews from around the world who express their gratitude. Together, they welcome in the Shabbat, dance at the Kotel and experience a unity that lifts the spirits of all.
Friday Night Dinner: Soldiers experience the warmth and love of a traditional Shabbat meal in the welcoming homes of Old City families. The meal is about so much more than food and song. It is a beautiful expression of unity and brotherhood.
Third Meal: After a Shabbat day of well-deserved rest, light touring, classes and a delicious lunch, soldiers join people from around the world to sing, tell their stories and connect on a personal level.
Havdalah: A musical Havdalah overlooking the Temple Mount is filled with emotion and inspiration as the Shabbat experience comes to an end.
The home hospitality and outpouring of love from Jews from throughout the world instills within the soldiers a strong sense of unity. The thought provoking program and stories deep from within their tradition cultivates their core Jewish values.
The soldiers leave amid lots of hugs, and filled with a strengthened commitment to Jerusalem and their mission to protect the land, the Jewish people and freedom everywhere.
“Just seeing the Kotel and having the third meal with wonderful hosts, meeting people from all over the world, gives energy to go back to the base and continue fighting.”
-- A commander in Field Intelligence
“In two weeks I'll get a new group of soldiers for training. I really hope that I'll get a chance to come here and show them how great people can be.”
-- A Female Combat Officer